The Town Council of the Town of Taber in Alberta recently recognized Blakelee Zuidhof for an incredible act of honesty. During the summer of 2019, Blakelee went to the Taber Police Service and turned in cash that she found in a public area. She told Taber Police Constables: “I hope that this money can be returned to its owner.”
Both the Taber Police Service and the Taber Town Council agreed that her actions were deserving of official thanks. The Taber Town Council were thrilled to invite Blakelee and her parents to attend a Monday, November 25, 2019 Town Council meeting for official recognition. Mayor Andy Prokop said, “We can’t say how impressed enough we are for what you’ve done. It shows high integrity and great character, and obviously a great upbringing by your parents to instill that kind of mindset and doing the right thing.”
For her civic-mindedness and personal integrity Mayor Prokop presented Blakelee with a gift basket as a token of appreciation and an official Certificate of Recognition.
Lessons Learned from a Home-centered and Church-supported Plan
Blakelee credits both the lessons learned in the home from her parents and older siblings as well as lessons she has learned by attending Primary classes in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for teaching her the importance of being honest. For example, Primary children are often encouraged to memorize the Church’s Articles of Faith that concludes with these words: “We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things” (Articles of Faith 1:13).
One of the ways Blakelee is learning new skills is by helping her family run a local food service during the summer months. Blakelee has learned the value of working hard for the money she earns. Because of this, she understood the value of the money that she found playing at a local playground during the summer.
Blakelee loves school, spending time with friends, learning about science and most especially art class. She is excited each week to go to Primary to sing and discuss the lessons with her teachers and classmates. At home, she is an active participant in weekly Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2019 lessons, even taking her turn at times to teach her family home evening lessons.
Her mother, Natalie, is a frequent author of articles for www.Canada.lds.org. In April 2019, Natalie and Blakelee participated in a Taber Alberta Stake family history activity where they displayed the materials that they are using in their home. They freely answered questions and offered suggestions encouraging others to use this new home resource. As President Russell M. Nelson explained at the October 2018 general conference: “For many years, Church leaders have been working on an integrated curriculum to strengthen families and individuals through a home-centered and Church-supported plan to learn doctrine, strengthen faith, and foster greater personal worship” (“Opening Remarks,” Ensign, Nov. 2018, 8).
Blakelee adds that she is especially looking forward to studying the Book of Mormon with the ideas contained in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Book of Mormon 2020.
Strengthening Her Testimony of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ
While Blakelee is young and still learning, she is faithful and desires to do good every day. She loves her Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and strives to live so that They are pleased with her choices.
Her mother, Natalie, shares: “I am grateful for her desire to do good and her willingness to learn and grow every day. I know that she has an ever-growing testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”